International Women's Day is a global holiday observed annually on March 8th to celebrate the achievements and progress of women's rights worldwide, as well as the threats to women's rights that still exist.
Women's Day became a mainstream global holiday after being adopted by the United Nations in 1977.
Women's rights have been rolled back in recent years with anti-feminist rhetoric and policies. Gender disparities are worsening; UN Women predicts that it could take another 286 years before gender gaps in legal protections for women and girls are closed.
Worldwide, there has been a noticeable uptick in anti-feminist policies, whether it be reproductive, educational, or related to activism.
The Chinese government has silenced feminists to tighten social controls on Chinese society. China has banned feminist content and terms they define as "inciting conflict between the genders" or "harmful speech."
The Polish government has targeted women's rights activists and organizations for participating in feminist and pro-choice protests. Poland's justice minister, Zbigniew Ziobro, threatened to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, a treaty on violence against women. The Constitutional Tribunal issued a near-total abortion ban in 2020, leaving women in Poland with few sexual reproductive health rights.
In the United States, multiple states have moved to ban or heavily restrict access to legal abortions after the landmark Dobbs vs. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision.
South Korea has considered anti-feminist initiatives, including a proposed abolishment of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family. Additionally, "women" is being removed from policies addressing gendered discrimination.
The Pakistani Taliban has targeted Pakistan's annual Aurat March with extremist backlash, stating that women's rights activists should be prosecuted for blasphemy.
These are only a few examples of how women's rights are being rolled back across the globe. Governments worldwide need to recognize this global threat to the rights of women and girls and reinforce measures to protect them by following international standards.
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